20 Signs You’re Doing Better In Your Love Life Than You Think You Are

Flickr, Mario Mancuso
Flickr, Mario Mancuso

1. Regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship, you have a strong sense of self. You’re not defined by being married or engaged or in a relationship, but you’re also not defined by being alone. You know who you are and what you want, and you know that you exist, wholly, outside of love.

2. You feel a sense of peace about the choices you’ve made – both the good and the bad. Dwelling on the past will only lead to standing in the same spot forever. Maybe you still think about the one that got away, maybe there are some, or a lot, of things you would do differently if you could. But you know that you can’t; so instead, you’ve begun to maintain a mindset of following your head, heart, and gut, and leaving everything else behind.

3. You’re not obsessed with the idea of love, nor are you bitter about it. Love is a very special and sacred thing, and whether or not you’re experiencing it at this moment, you respect it and appreciate it and enjoy it. You can look at it with both wonder and practicality, never becoming too fascinated by or too resentful of it.

4. Outside of romantic love (or of your search to find it), you have friends and family that enrich your life. You know that in order to have a balanced, healthy emotional state, you need to have relationships with people other than your partner – people who will be a sounding board for you, people who can provide a soft landing when you take a risk and fail, and people who will simply make you happy just by being around them.

5. If you’re in a relationship, you have hobbies and passions outside of that other person. You know that in order for this to work, your entire world can never revolve solely around them.

6. And if you’re not in a relationship, you have hobbies and passions outside of looking for that other person. You know how easy it is to let the search for love take over your every thought and action. So you’ve made sure to have plenty of things that keep you excited, entertained, and curious about life, so that your happiness does not solely depend upon finding another person.

7. You’re looking for someone you can share a life with, not someone who will make you whole. Whether or not you’ve found them yet, you’ve promised yourself that your relationship will not be about relying on one another to feel complete. Instead, it will be about opening up completely and weaving your lives together, without losing sight of who you are as individuals.

8. You’ve realized that a romantic partner will not fix everything that’s wrong with your life. They will make things easier. They will support you. They will, all at once, be your cheerleader, challenger, and anchor. But you know that when it comes to solving problems, you can’t hide behind another person.

9. You understand the difference between love and infatuation. I think most of us, at this point, have experienced the feeling of being infatuated with another person. But you’ve been through enough and learned enough in your life to know the difference between being lovesick and being in love.

10. You’ve learned how to fight in a healthy way. Confrontation is not a bad thing in relationships. Neither is arguing. You could probably say it’s more dangerous not to argue. At this point, you know that if a relationship is going to have a fighting chance, you have to, well, fight. Maybe you don’t like it, but you know that you have to get that shit out on the table and work through it.

11. You’re extremely self-aware. You’ve learned that blaming everything on the other person simply means you’re just trying to move any sense of responsibility off of your own shoulders.

12. You find yourself giving your friends sound advice and you have no idea where it came from. Until you realize it came directly from things you’ve personally experienced, and from which you have grown tremendously.

13. The importance of vulnerability is something you’re finally learning to accept. It sucks, and it’s uncomfortable. It makes even the most confident of people feel terrified. But, as you’ve seen over and over, the closest way to feel connected to another person is to be open about your greatest fears and insecurities.

14. Seeing other people deeply in love does not make you feel inadequate or uncomfortable. Maybe sometimes, you cannot help but compare them to yourself and your own love life. But at the same time, you find them encouraging and sweet. You like having a gentle reminder that genuine love still exists all around you.

15. Memories of heartbreak and particularly rocky times in your love life still make you sad, but you’re now grateful for them. You know that you wouldn’t be the person you are today without all of the things you’ve been through. All of the lonely nights and difficult mornings have provided you with wisdom, strength, and a deep sense of understanding.

16. If you’re in a relationship, you know that not every day is going to be a walk in the park. Sometimes, they’re going to piss you the hell off, or you’re going to have to make sacrifices you don’t want to make. And even if you don’t like it, you’re okay with it, because you know that this is the path to a deeper, more consistent love.

17. Rom-coms have become a 90-minute source of entertainment, as opposed to an example of how your love life should pan out. Because opening credits rolling over the New York City skyline is a nice thing to watch, but in real life, meet-cute’s at coffee shops are not nearly as frequent.

18. You understand that you deserve to be with a great person. Not in an arrogant way, not like you think your God’s gift to Earth. But you understand that you deserve happiness and you deserve to be with someone who treats you as well as you treat them.

19. You know how to be alone without feeling lonely. Rather than dreading the time you have to spend by yourself, you’ve grown to think of it as precious, hard-to-get, but much-needed time for you to reflect, meditate, and get back in touch with your truest self.

20. You’ve found a deeply-rooted sense of contentment outside of your love life. You’ve learned to appreciate even the smallest thing around you – a lazy morning, a smell that reminds you of home, a sweet exchange with a stranger. You’ve learned how to be happy, even when things are really bad. And you know that while another person can contribute exponentially to your happiness, you’re the one who has to find it to begin with. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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